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Tracking change with CIPRA

Apr 19, 2016
Twenty-five years have passed since the Alpine Convention was established. In its Annual Report, CIPRA International focuses on the role the international agreement plays for panalpine cooperation today and the role it could play in the future. There is also an internal change to report – in August 2016, Andreas Pichler will be taking the helm of the Liechtenstein-based NGO.
Image caption:
Encounter: meeting with Markus Reiterer, Secretary General of the Alpine Convention. (c) Michele Silvestro

In Markus Reiterer's office in Innsbruck, Austria, there hangs a collage that tells of an exciting journey with a long-term impact. It was presented to him as Secretary General of the Alpine Convention – as were similar works to other representatives of the organisation – at Expo Milan in June 2015. It was created by young participants of CIPRA's Youth Alpine Express project using materials they had collected on their journey – waste to some, recyclable materials to others. The collages carry a clear message: reduce, reuse, and recycle! In the 25th anniversary year of the Alpine Convention, this message is more relevant than ever before; the Alps, with their wealth of natural resources, are under particular pressure today.

Bottom-up innovation

Twenty-five years after the launch of the Alpine Convention, CIPRA International takes stock in this year's Annual Report. Much has been achieved. Thanks in no small part to CIPRA, the Alpine Convention has opened its doors to young people. Other challenges are still waiting to be addressed, however, and some have become more pressing than ever before. Climate change, for example, is calling into question accepted models for business and tourism. New answers may be found thanks to the mediation of the Alpine Convention, where international cooperation has generated diverse contacts and multifarious expertise. Over the last 25 years, it has already inspired numerous activities and initiatives. In many cases, CIPRA has played a role – as can be seen from CIPRA International's Annual Report.

For the future, CIPRA is hoping to see a greater willingness to involve civil society and employ participatory processes – in the knowledge that many hands and heads mean diversity, innovation and sustainable solutions. That requires trust, access to information and the ability to listen to one another and hold constructive dialogues.

The Annual Report is available in print or pdf format from CIPRA International (+423 237 53 53, [email protected],

Combining continuity and change

Change is in the air at CIPRA International – on 1 August 2016, Claire Simon will be handing over responsibility for the Executive Office in Schaan, Liechtenstein, to her deputy Andreas Pichler. CIPRA International's Franco-German Executive Director has had a major influence on the development of the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps over the last twelve years. In 2006, Claire transferred from her post as Director of CIPRA France to join CIPRA International, where she was subsequently appointed Deputy Executive Director. Since becoming Executive Director in 2013, Claire has championed a continual process of renewal and consolidation within the organisation. The 38-year-old played a significant role in persuading CIPRA to open its ranks to the next generation and establishing a Youth Council. Thanks to the willingness to change and basis of trust that Claire was able to create in the team at CIPRA International and its networks, CIPRA has been able not only to consolidate its role in international Alpine policymaking, but also to instigate change and promote innovative approaches to process management. Claire and her family will be returning to her native France. She will continue to support the organisation on a freelance basis and as Executive Director of the Alpine Town of the Year Association.

Claire's successor will be 29-year-old Andreas Pichler who, despite his youth, has considerable experience in management and Alpine issues. Andreas, who comes from Brixen/Bressanone in South Tyrol, Italy, joined CIPRA International as Deputy Executive Director in November 2015. As the former Director of Ökoinstitut Südtirol/Alto Adige, Andreas combines a keen interest in the subject of sustainable development in the Alps with management experience, professional expertise and an extensive network of contacts.

Any queries should be addressed to:

Claire Simon, Executive Director, CIPRA International
+423 537 53 53, [email protected]

Barbara Wülser, Communications Manager, CIPRA International
+423 237 53 11, [email protected]